Charity launches mini-stroke campaign in light of research

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Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

A new campaign aimed at educating people on the signs and dangers of a mini-stroke has been launched after research carried out by a local charity revealed people are not aware what a TIA (mini-stroke) is. 

Leading health charity Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke is launching its ‘Mini Stroke, Massive Warning’ campaign to highlight the fact that a mini-stroke is a massive warning sign that a stroke may be on the way. 



One in ten people who have a mini-stroke go on to have a full stroke within a week. Currently, in the Newry and Mourne area alone, over 1,600 people are living with stroke.

The survey, commissioned by the charity, revealed that across all age groups, two out of three of us don’t know what a TIA – which stands for Transient Ischaemic Attack (the medical name for a mini-stroke) is, with men less aware than women – 76% of males to 59% of females – had no idea what it was. 

Fiona Greene, Director of Care Services at NI Chest Heart and Stroke, said, “Our research was very telling and quite concerning that despite numerous widespread messaging the term TIA just wasn’t resonating with people – if people don’t know what it is, they can’t take heed of the warning.



“So many people are not aware that a mini-stroke is a medical emergency. It is a massive warning that a full stroke may be on the way. Although the symptoms are the same as a stroke which is the FAST acronym – they disappear quickly and that leads people into a false sense of security that they are OK and don’t need to call an ambulance.

The FAST acronym stands for:

F – Has their face fallen on one side?

A – Can they move both arms and legs?

S – Is their speech slurred?

T – Time to call 999.

“A huge part of the problem is people’s inability to recognise the symptoms and the seriousness of those symptoms even after they have disappeared. The truth is one in ten people who suffer a mini-stroke will go on to have a full stroke within a week, which is a significant number,” she added.



In Northern Ireland over 36,000 people have had a stroke or TIA, with 10 people admitted to hospital every day. 

Rugby player Chris Henry, who is one of the charity’s ambassadors, voiced his support for the campaign has also suffered a mini-stroke before an international rugby match in 2014.

Chris said, “Suffering a mini-stroke was a truly terrifying experience. I am very grateful and was very lucky to be in an environment where a team mate was able to get me help and medical experts were on hand so quickly. Many others are not so lucky.

“My story has a happy ending but it has left me determined to raise awareness of mini-strokes. I think this is a really impactful campaign by NI Chest Heart and Stroke and I hope the message gets through to people so they can recognise the symptoms and know to call 999.”



For more information on the ‘Mini Stroke, Massive Warning’ campaign visit

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